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Gridiron dreams coming true for Kilmore athlete

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By Tricia Mifsud

Tanisha Bratusa might still be new to the world of gridiron, but has earned an unexpected opportunity to represent Australia at the upcoming International Federation of American Football, IFAF, World Championship.

Bratusa began playing gridiron this year after watching her boyfriend Tyrell play and wanting to try it herself.

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Taking an immediate liking to the sport, Bratusa comfortably learned the offensive left tackle position as a member of the Victoria Eagles.

She was quickly given an opportunity to play internationally, being named in the Women’s Outback team, with which she will travel to Finland in July for the championships.

Australia is one of the eight competing nations alongside Finland, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Great Britain, and Germany. In Finland, Australia will play four games against four of the competing nations.

“There is going to be a training camp a week before flying out to Finland, but I have been told by multiple coaches that I have my seat on the plane, which is super exciting,” Bratusa said.

Prior to meeting her boyfriend, Bratusa admitted she had little understanding of the sport, and in fact did not particularly like playing sport growing up.

“I didn’t know the sport even existed in Australia,” she said.

“Throughout high school, I was the kid who always had a sick note for sport; I had no interest in it. I left in year nine and did virtual schooling, and took on a bit of body building … but that’s the only sport I had ever really done.”

The total cost per player for the championships is $8500, which must be fully funded by the players as gridiron is considered a minor sport in Australia.

Bratusa is hoping the community can help make her trip possible with donations.

“I am so proud and excited to be given this opportunity, and I am looking forward to representing my family, friends, town and country with pride,” she said.

“Any donation, big or small, will be greatly appreciated, and I will also be seeking sponsors to help with this cost, so the amount I require might go down.”

The championships will be in Vantaa, Finland from July 28 to August 8.

A link to contact Bratusa can also be found on the GoFundMe page for those wishing to discuss sponsorship options.

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